Heroes of Hope are cancer survivors or caregivers who have demonstrated a commitment to the American Cancer Society’s mission of saving lives from the disease. As highly visible symbols of a personal victory over cancer, they share their personal stories in a variety of settings to motivate others to fight back against the disease.
Our 2017 Heroes of Hope are Kaliko Adams (Caregiver – Hawaii) and Frankie Perez (Survivor – Guam).
Kaliko’s mother was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer when he was just eight years old. Despite learning about cancer through his mother’s fight, he stayed strong and did his best to support his mother during her fight. Even when times were tough, and the prospects seemed bad, Kaliko and his family never gave up hope. His mother entered remission the following year and has been cancer free since. Kaliko has started his own team, bringing his high school friends into the Relay fold and starting a team that has still run after he graduated.
My connection to cancer has always been personal. It began with my grandparents – I lost two grandparents to cancer and I have a cousin who was diagnosed with cancer as a kid. In 2013, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer – thankfully, it was caught early – and we celebrated her triumph over cancer at the 2014 Relay For Life. We formed a team, “It’s A Family Affair” to give back to the American Cancer Society. I walked with my mom in her first survivor victory lap that year… as her caregiver, without thinking that someday I might be a survivor too.
For more information on our Relay For Life events and how you can participate, log on to www.relayforlife.org or contact your local American Cancer Society office.